What the hell is Anime?
Something different from what everybody else was watching
It's a weekday night, its the 90's and you have finished all your homework and are now sitting right in front of your TV. You flip through the channels looking for something good to watch, but all your finding is news and more adult shows like 7th heaven that only your mom watches. So you decide to flip to the Cartoon Network. In hopes that there will be something good on. And then you see it. A flurry of fists and swords the likes of witch you have never seen before. Something that you feel like you could watch for hours on end.....and then it ends. You wonder what the hell you just watched and if it will ever come back. You ask your father what was just on the TV screen and even he doesn't know. So you turn to your friends at school and ask what it was and in one word they tell you it's......
Now I realize that with this article, I may not be going all that retro. I will actually have to dive into the new millennium and pick out a show from there. Mostly because I only watched the english dubbed versions of these shows. I also didn't watch many shows from the 80's and don't remember much about them.
I just felt that I had to write this article, because anime was such a big thing in my life that I simply feel that I need to address it. If anyone has a problem with this I will understand. But please give this article a chance.
Lets start at the beginning shall we with my first anime ever and probley a lot of peoples, Pokemon.
AH Pokemon. Such good memories. I was a huge Pokefan. I simply couldn't get enough of Pokemon. The Cards, The Games, The merchandise and especially the Anime. For anybody who hasn't heared about this cultural phenomenon heres the story.
A Kid named Ash
No not that Ash.
Yes that one.
A girl named Misty
And a... I'm gonna say womanizer named Brock(even though he never actually gets anyone)
travel around collecting little monsters named Pokemon. And thats It. Simple, straight forward and to the point. But we only cared for the story a little bit. All I cared about was the fighting. Almost every episode you got to see Pokemon doing what they do best, fighting using some great powers. This show was great, of course I was only seven when it aired. Now that I watch it again it has alot of problems. For one Pokemon are annoying. When your seven and don't really care about how annoying a show can be a half an hour of "Pika Pika Pika" dosn't really get to you, but now all I can think is "SHUT THE F@#$ UP".
Pokemon is without a doubt one of the shows that really got western audiences into anime and it will always have a special place in many people's hearts. Everybody was drawn in by something, but from the girls at my school I could tell it was how adorable Pikachu was.
Pikachu's a Pimp.
And if no one belives me when I say it is a cultural phenomenon just take a look at this.
Though aside from Pokemon there was another show that really brought anime to more people in the west. And that show was the show Dragonball Z.
This show during my childhood is what I called the pinnical of action shows. This show was awesome for me, so much so that I can say to this day that I can say to this day that I have seen every episode of this show when I was a child. The story is that it picks up when the first show to carry the name Dragonball ended and the main hero Goku is now an adult, and is facing many dangerous threats that wish to destroy earth and the entire galaxy. Unlike Pokemon, Dragonball Z was very much into it's story and characters. It's story had a very caring message about not doing what you are told to do, but to follow your heart. Like when Vegeta first comes down to earth he has one objective: Destroy Everything. But through the series he becomes allies with Goku and even takes a human wife.
The Characters were also very flushed out and had a great deal of interesting facts about them. Like our main protagonist Goku, he is a very like able guy.
All he wants to do is protect everything that is important to him and all the innocent people of the universe. When I was younger I would always compare him to Superman because of their similar goals. And from this picture I don't think I'm the only one who thought like this.
Today I do occasionally look back at this show and now it's flaws are pretty obvious.
One it is not drawn that well. Even if it did start in the 80's it came out around the same time the anime movie Akira came out so people knew that this could have been drawn alot better. All the characters look really blocky and stiff when they aren't fighting and it doesn't look to good.
Two it got bad near the end. After the Cell Games arch it got really confusing and just bad. Ounce they have to fight the monster known as Buu, Goku must teach his second son how to fuse with some one so that they can defeat Buu. If Goku knew how to do this why didn't he teach this to his other son Gohan to defeat Cell. Instead he sacrifices himself by transporting Cell to another planet and Cell blows that planet up. Yet then he comes back somehow and fight's Gohan again. IT MAKES NO SENSE.
Even with my gripes, Dragonball Z (like Pokemon) will always have a special place in anime lovers hearts. I don't know what it is but for some reason we just wont forget it. It may have gotten worse near the end but at least it was a fun ride while it lasted.
When I was ten I always hated going to sleep, so after all the other members of my family I would sneak out of my room and turn on the TV. Nothing much was on so I would usually turn to Cartoon Network to check what was on. It was a program called Adult Swim.
It was usually filled with shows that I didn't really get until I got older. Shows like Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Brak show, Sealab 2021 and Home Movies.
But then it would get to it's anime segments and this is where I would find two of my favorite animes of all time. The first being the amazing Cowboy Bebop.
OH HOW I LOVE THIS SHOW. This is a great show. It had something for everyone. It had great action and sweet space battle's for me as a kid. And when I got older it also had amazing story and plot development, Interesting characters, awesome animation, great music and so much more. I don't know what it was about this show that made me keep sneaking out at night. It was just so slick, so cool and so utturlly different from what I was watching at the time it just hooked me and remains to hook me to this day. It was about a mysterious bounty hunter named Spike and his crew in the future doing what they do best. Catching criminals, for a price.
Man, Spike is Slick
As the series goes on though we delve into the history behind these characters and realize that there is alot more to them then initially thought. These are all people you like and continue to like even more as the series goes on. and after you get past all the characters and story you get to the action and this is where it really gets good. All the battles are pumped up by very appropriate jazz music and looks so good and thrilling that there may be instances when you get up and go "YEAH GET HIM. GET HIM." The space battles were always my favorite because it never slowed down once. Like the regular action scenes on foot. These are just as thrilling and fun to watch.
Cowboy Bebop was an amazing anime. The only grip I have with the show is that it was only twenty six episodes long. WHAT! I'm sure it could have gone on for another hundered episodes and would have never gotten tired or boring. The director did this with another one of my favorite series "Samurai Champloo". I don't know what it is with him but he usually dosn't go beond the 20's. At the movie quelled the stomachs of Bebop fans, that was almost as good as the actual series.
Hopefully the live action movie planned with Keeanu Reeves will be good because if it isn't, well lets just say that Keeanu isn't going to have much of a career after that.
Well that's it, I just wanted to give you guys and girls a little retrospective on how anime was so different from everything I was watching and how important those memories are to me. I know I am missing alot of really popular ones like.......
and maybe even......
but I really only wanted to stick to the really legendary and big ones. It was thanks to these show's that I continue to watch anime. I have moved on to other series that I love just as much as I did these when I was younger.
Thank you for reading my article, to all non anime fans I hope this is a little bit of source to tell you what some of the big anime names meant to anime fans, and to all anime fans I hope you like this article and remember the good ol' days. All I have left to say is